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Welcome to Dorset Humanists

Dorset Humanists welcomes atheists, agnostics, sceptics, secularists and all who question organised religion. Join us to live without religion, using reason, evidence, science and (hopefully!) ethical behaviour. See 'About Us' and 'About Humanism'. Receive the free monthly pdf Dorset Humanists Bulletin/Newsletter. Dorset Humanists are a British Humanist Association Partner and a National Secular Society Affiliate.

Bombs, Bloomsbury and Bertrand Russell

Betrand Russell PosterSaturday 9th June 2.00pm 
Moordown Community Centre, Coronation Avenue, Moordown, Bournemouth BH9 1TW

A presentation by David Warden, Chair of Dorset Humanists

Bertrand Russell was undoubtedly one of the greatest rationalists of the twentieth century. The grandson of a Prime Minister, he did pioneering work in mathematics and philosophy as well as campaigning for women’s suffrage and against war and nuclear weapons. He was twice imprisoned for his activities, and was married four times.

In this presentation, David Warden will explore Russell’s extraordinary life.

Join us for “a fascinating introduction to one of our greatest thinkers”

Free entry (donations appreciated).     Everyone welcome!

If you can help us promote this event by displaying an A4 poster, please email Dave at DHcensus(at)hotmail.co.uk for a PDF copy.

Click here to view details of other forthcoming and recent events on this website.

Reconciling Altruism and ‘The Selfish Gene’

Selfish Gene PosterThursday 24th May 7.30pm
Moordown Community Centre, Coronation Avenue, Moordown, Bournemouth BH9 1TW

A presentation by James Fradgley

What do we mean by ‘altruism’ and how can we explain this type of behaviour if we are simply machines created by our selfish genes?

In this illustrated presentation, scientist James Fradgley looks for answers in an intriguing variety of places including genetics, statistics, multicellular organisms, social structures, philosophical dilemmas and religion.

Join us for “a fascinating introduction to how our genes influence behaviour”.

Free entry (donations appreciated).     Everyone welcome!

If you can help us promote this event by displaying an A4 poster, please email Dave at DHcensus(at)hotmail.co.uk for a PDF copy.

Click here to view details of other forthcoming and recent events on this website.

Fear and God

How fear and anxiety leads to more religion by Tomas Rees


On 14th April, Tomas Rees gave a presentation (see above video) to Dorset Humanists entitled 'Fear and God'.


In the talk he reviewed many of the studies he’s covered on his blog, looking at how and why fear and anxiety provoke religious responses, and the link between unstable and dangerous societies with greater levels of religion (The main talk runs for 50 minutes, with another 20 minutes of questions at the end). He’s posted this talk on his blog and we reproduce the presentation here too.


If you enjoyed this talk and want to find out more, please visit Tom’s blog at Epiphenom for a wealth of additional information: http://epiphenom.fieldofscience.comTom is also a founder member of Humanists4Science, along with Dorset Humanists’ Chris Street.


'Anxiety a major cause of religion’ 
“Religious nations have higher infant mortality, more murders, worse corruption, more cases of AIDS, and higher levels of abortion” At our April meeting, Dr Tom Rees gave a very illuminating presentation on what makes people more religious. 


Experimental research has found that loneliness, reminding people of death and making them more anxious makes people more religious. Muslims have very high death anxiety because of a vivid belief in Hell.  It was reassuring, however, to learn that reminding atheists about death makes them less religious. 


Anxiety increases our ‘pattern-seeking’ behaviour – it makes people more inclined to ‘see God’s hand’ in everyday events. If the government is not in control people want God to be in control. The least religious people are those who enjoy good health, stable employment, are well-educated and who haven’t experienced war. Peaceful, trusting, urbanised countries have the most atheists and are the least religious. Religious societies have the lowest ‘social capital’ (social cohesion, co-operation and so on). 


Tom offered two explanations as to why the United States is so religious. One reason its vigorous free market in religion and a second reason is its high income inequality and lack of social security which increases anxiety which, in turn, makes people more religious. 


Tom claimed that state-sanctioned religion makes people more cynical about religion. If you get rid of state religion countries become more religious. If you want to reduce your blood pressure, however, religion can help.


Click here to view details of our other forthcoming and recent events on this website.

Next meeting/event

Create Your Own Cult: The Scientology Way

Create Your Own Cult - The Scientology Way 8th November 2014Saturday 8th November 2.00pm 
Moordown Community Centre, Coronation Avenue, Moordown Bournemouth BH9 1TW

A presentation by Dr Martin Poulter

Scientology has been described in the United States as “ruthless, litigious and lucrative” and in this country as “corrupt, sinister and dangerous”, yet it has gained the approval of many A-list Hollywood celebrities, and accumulated enormous quantities of money. Thanks to the internet, it now faces unprecedented global opposition, but how did it all begin?

Skeptic Martin Poulter has been keeping a close watch on L. Ron Hubbard’s secretive cult since 1995 when he was threatened with legal action over Scientology material he had posted online, and in this presentation he’ll be revealing how it all began, its subsequent development, its recruitment methods, and many of its most disturbing secrets.

Martin will also be providing us with a checklist of useful points to keep in mind if you ever decide to create your own successful and highly lucrative cult!

Join us for an entertaining examination of what may be Sci-Fi author L. Ron Hubbard’s weirdest creation - the cult of Scientology.

Free entry (donations appreciated).     Everyone welcome!

Martin Poulter has a Philosophy and Psychology degree from Oxford University and a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Bristol. He is a key figure in Bristol Skeptics and his current main interest is in promoting critical and scientific thinking. He also gives talks on cognitive and social psychology.

Please help us promote Dorset Humanists and this event by displaying an A4 poster. Download an A4 printable copy here, or email Dave at DHcensus(at)hotmail.co.uk for a PDF.

Click here to view details of other forthcoming and recent events on this website.

Please indicate your interest in attending this event on Meetup.com and/or facebook as it helps raise our group’s profile on these sites (Meetup also offers you timely email reminders and the chance to discover other interesting groups in your area). To help you find them, here are the direct links to this event on those sites:

http://www.meetup.com/Dorset-Humanists/events/212829072/

https://www.facebook.com/events/957375840945118/

(The Green House Hotel can also be accessed by car and on foot via its rear entrance in Gervis Road. The hotel has a small onsite car park, and roadside parking is also available in Gervis Road).

Please help us promote Dorset Humanists and this event by displaying an A4 poster. Download an A4 printable copy here, or email Dave at DHcensus(at)hotmail.co.uk for a PDF.

Click here to view details of other forthcoming and recent events on this website.

Please note: This ‘Next meeting’ post is regularly updated, so if you wish to post a comment about this particular event, please do so on the main post which can found by following the link from the event title above (in larger blue font).

If this ‘Next meeting’ post ever shows a past event, please send us a reminder at  DHcensus(at)hotmail.co.uk and we’ll update it as soon as we can.

Cruel Food!

Cruel Food Poster Saturday, 12th May 2.00pm

Moordown Community Centre, Coronation Avenue, Moordown, Bournemouth. BH9 1TW 

A presentation by Phil Brooke of ‘Compassion in World Farming’.

Campaigning and lobbying by Compassion in World Farming’  has led to the EU recognising animals as sentient beings capable of feeling pain and suffering, and has secured landmark agreements to outlaw narrow veal crates,sow stalls and battery cages across Europe.

Explore the ethics of what we eat with Phil Brooke, and discover how the food you choose affects animal welfare.

Come and join us for a better understanding of ‘compassionate farming’.

Everyone welcome. Free Entry (donations appreciated).

Compassion in World Farming's website can be seen here: http://www.ciwf.org.uk/

If you can help us promote this event by displaying an A4 poster, please email Dave at DHcensus(at)hotmail.co.uk for a PDF copy.

Click here to view details of other forthcoming and recent events on this website.

Religion Explained - Fear and God: Why some people just can’t help believing - Dr Tom Rees (Humanists4Science)

Religion Explained April 2012Saturday 14th April 2.00pm
Moordown Community Centre, Coronation Avenue, Moordown, Bournemouth BH9 1TW
Find out why some people just can’t help believing!


Why do some people believe in God and religion whilst others do not? Why are some countries more religious than others? Our speaker Dr Tom Rees will explore the psychology of belief and evidence of a link between belief and stressful living conditions. Dr Rees is a medical writer, a columnist for 'Free Inquiry' magazine, and co-founder of Humanists4Science. 



Everyone welcome! 
Free entry (donations appreciated)
If you can help us promote this event by displaying an A4 poster, please email Dave at DHcensus(at)hotmail.co.uk for a PDF copy.
Click here to view details of other forthcoming and recent events on this website.


April Bulletin and Newsletter

DW 6298984 (crop) Our recent debate at Bournemouth University was a stunning success with a great turnout and a friendly atmosphere.  Please put the next one in your diaries! 

Also in this month's Bulletin, a short tribute to Isa Fox who was involved with Humanism since the 1940s, a book review by Dennis Bannister, our involvement with a multifaith/belief initiative for schools, and news of several great events coming up soon.

In this month's Chairman's View, I talk about the many strands of humanism, and share my thoughts on marriage.

We look forward to seeing you soon. 

Best wishes,
David Warden
Chair, Dorset Humanists

Click here to view details of our forthcoming and recent events.